Open sesame (oil)!
By: Leanne Ely
I’ve written before about the health benefits of sesame seeds so it only stands to reason that sesame oil has an impressive nutritional profile as well.
Sesame has been used to improve health since at least 3600 years ago, when it was listed on Egyptian scrolls as a favored medicine. Babylonian women consumed a mixture of sesame seeds and honey to hang on to their beauty and youth, while Roman soldiers chomped on this same mixture to give them energy and stamina.
I love the flavor of sesame oil. It gives a gorgeous deep flavor to whatever you put it in and that taste is very difficult to duplicate. For a real treat, the next time you’re cooking chicken, add a little sesame oil to its marinade. It provides an almost nutty flavor that just tastes like more. Sesame oil does have quite an intense flavor, so you normally would use it as part of a marinade, a finishing drizzle, or for making salad dressings. And a little goes a long way! A drop or two in a vegetable dish is generally plenty.
And here I go getting sidetracked. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of sesame oil:
Blood pressure. Sesame oil has been shown to lower high blood pressure.
Dental health. For thousands of years, sesame oil has been used for oral ailments. Swishing sesame oil in your mouth for several minutes is believed to cure bad breath, prevent tooth decay and strengthen your pearly whites.
Autoimmune disease. In some scientific experiments, sesame oil has been shown to prevent mice from developing Multiple Sclerosis.
Baby massage. Studies have shown that massaging babies with sesame oil actually makes them sleep longer than other oils.
Sesame oil inhibits the growth of cancer cells, can help battle depression and it is also excellent for kidney health. This beautiful brown oil is considered by many to be a food medicine that should be consumed regularly for optimal health.
Store your sesame oil in the fridge because it can go rancid quite quickly.